Research Profile: Monica Jyotsna Melanchthon

Research Interests

Monica has strong commitments to the marginalized, particularly, women and Dalits. She has contributed toward developing Dalit and Indian Feminist hermeneutics and theologies, and interpretation of Biblical texts drawing on insights from the social biographies of these communities, their perspectives and their lived experiences. Her approach is therefore contextual, inter disciplinary and liberational. Her research interests include cultural and literary studies, reception histories, epistemologies, ecological readings, feminist hermeneutics and interpretations.

While on research leave (Jan-June 2016) Monica worked on a manuscript entitled, Shaping Survival: The Bible and Indian Women, a collection of juxtaposed readings of the Hebrew Bible and Indian “texts”. Her current research projects include a feminist commentary on 1 Kings (Liturgical Press) and a commentary on Joshua 1-11 (Earth Bible Commentary Series, Sheffield Press), besides several chapters for various book projects.

Research Supervision

Monica welcomes the opportunity to work with students interested in studying the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible in general but would be excited about those projects that seek to bring the Hebrew text into conversation with issues of culture, gender, other scriptural traditions, and social issues; those open to employing new and emerging approaches and methodologies and engaging sources also from the non-Western world.

She has successfully supervised research projects on, The History and Significance of Manual Labor in the Hebrew Bible: A Sociological Approach; The Process of the Formulation of Liberative Hebrew Scripture as a Paradigm for the formulation of a Scripture for the Liberation of Dalits, at the PHD level and many at the Masters level.

Recent Publications

A brief introduction to the Book of Numbers and short reflections on each of the chapters in the book. CEB Women’s Bible. Edited by Judy Fentress Williams, Jaime Clark-Soles, Ginger Gaines-Cirelli, Christine Chakoian, Rachel Baughman (NY: United Methodist Publishing House, 2016).

Co-authored with Jione Havea, “Culture Tricks in Biblical Narrative” in Danna N. Fewell (ed), Oxford Handbook to Biblical Narrative (NY/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016): 563-572.

“The Flight to Egypt: A Migrant Reading – Implications for Lutheran Theology,” in To All the Nations: Lutheran Hermeneutics and the Gospel of Matthew, edited by Craig Koester and Kenneth Mtata (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2015): 153-170.

“Protect me from those who are violent!”— Psalm 140: A Cry for Justice, A Song of Hope”, in Kenneth Mtata, Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr, Miriam Rose, (eds). Singing the Songs of the Lord in Foreign lands: Psalms in Contemporary Lutheran Interpretation, LWF Documentation Series (59/2014) (Leipzig, Germany: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt (EVA), 2014): 33-58.

“Engaging Women’s Experiences in the Struggle for Justice, Dignity, and Humanity: Hebrew Bible Readings by South Asian Women,” Susanne Scholz (ed.), With the Eyes of a Woman: A Retrospective of Feminist Contextual Readings of the Hebrew Bible (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014): 51-69.

‘Toward Mapping Feminist Biblical Interpretations in Asia’, in Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (ed.), Feminist Biblical Studies in the Twentieth Century: Scholarships and Movement (Atlanta: SBL, 2014): 105-122.

“Reading Rizpah across Borders, Cultures, Belongings…all the way to India” in Jione Havea, Elaine Wainwright, David Neville (eds.), Bible, Borders, Belongings: Engaging Readings from Oceania, Semeia Studies (Atlanta: SBL, 2014): Pages 171-190.

“Fragile Dignity: Family, Honor, Scripture (on the essays of Ciska Stark, D.  Xolile and Lee-Ann J. Simon, and Gé Speelman),” in L. Juliana Claassens and Klaas Spronk (eds.), Fragile Dignity: Intercontextual Conversations on Scriptures, Family and Violence, Semeia Studies, (Atlanta: SBL, 2013): Pages 309-317.

“Bible, Tradition and the Asian Context,” in Kenneth Mtata (ed.), You have the Words of Eternal Life” – Transformative Readings of the Gospel of John from a Lutheran Perspective, (Minneapolis: Minnesota: Lutheran University Press, 2012): pages 135- 150.

“Mothering Ways and Reconciliation,” Mission as Ministry of Reconciliation, eds., Robert Schreiter and Knud Jørgensen (UK: Regnum, 2013), Pages 146-59.

“Translating the Extravagance of Violence – Editorial” in Dialog: A Journal of Theology, Volume 52:2, (Summer 2013): 85-87.

“Lamentations and the Form and Function of Dalit Poetry” in Global Perspectives on the Bible, eds., Mark Roncace and Joseph Weaver, (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2012): 195-97.

“A Comparison of the Song to Literature and Film in India,” in Global Perspectives on the Bible, eds., Mark Roncace and Joseph Weaver, (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2012): Pages 177-79.

“Unleashing the Power Within: The Bible and Dalits,” in Roland Boer and Fernando Segovia (eds.), The Future of the Biblical Past: Envisioning Biblical Studies on a Global Key, Semeia Studies Series, (Atlanta: SBL, 2012): pages 47-65.

“Research, Methodologies, Bible and Marginal Communities in India,” in Margins in Conversation: Methodological Discourses in Theological Disciplines, eds. Joseph Prabhakar Dayam and Mohan Larbeer (Bangalore: BTESSC, 2012): 1-16